The German consumer magazine Öko-Test tested 18 dolls, including ten made of fabric and eight made of plastic. However, not all dolls are equally expensive. Öko-Test found numerous safety deficiencies, even in high-priced dolls. Luna Journal provides an insight into the toys tested by Öko-Test.

This year (2018) dolls for children under the age of three were tested. The test result was frightening: Out of 18 tested dolls, only six passed the requirements of Öko-Test. The main reason for this result was the poor workmanship of the tested toys or dangerous accessories. These were rated “inadequate” or “unsatisfactory” by the consumer magazine.

Öko-Test recommends one plastic doll & four rag dolls

Käthe Kruse received the overall rating “good” with the plastic doll “Mini Bambina Celina”. With a price of 54,95 Euro the doll is in the higher-priced segment. In the practical examination no defects were determined and also no Abfärben by saliva or sweat. Thus the test result in the practice test was “very good”. In the area of ingredients, the doll “Mini Bambina Celina” only finished with “satisfactory”. In the plastic doll, questionable and controversial substances such as PVC, PVDC, chlorinated compounds and substitute plasticizers were found. Another deficiency was found in the filling, which contained more than 1 mg/kg antimony in the eluate of the filling. The company Käthe Kruse achieved the grade “good” in the area of “further defects”. Thus the “Mini Bambina Celina” achieved the best result of all tested plastic dolls.

One of the tested rag dolls scored “very good” and three “good”. The Jako-O “Puppe Krümelchen im Schlafanzug” for 29.95 Euro had no shortcomings in the practical test and also did not reject in the test with saliva or sweat. In the test results of the ranges practice examination, contents materials and further lack received the doll of Jako-O the note very well .

The fabric doll “My girlfriend Conni” from Habermaaß is with 20.80 Euro in the cheaper segment and convinced the Öko-Test examiners with a “very good” test result in the practical test. In terms of ingredients, organohalogen compounds and optical brighteners were discovered, which resulted in a “satisfactory” evaluation. In addition, 1 mg/kg antimony was found in the eluate in the filling. Nevertheless, the Habermaaß doll achieved the overall rating of “good”.

The “Kids Barn Mimmi” from Design Rubens Sweden passed the practical test with “very good”. The rag doll costs 44.90 euros. The test result in the area of ingredients, on the other hand, was only “satisfactory”, as organic halogen compounds and optical brighteners were found. The fabric doll from Design Rubens Sweden showed no further defects. Here, too, the overall assessment was “good”.

The “Smiki rag doll Adele” (40 cm) by Spielemax achieved a similar result. With a price of 12,99 Euro the rag doll belongs to the low-priced segment and scores “very good” in the practical test. On the other hand, the test result is only “satisfactory” with regard to the ingredients, since optical brighteners and antimony were found in the textiles of the doll. The overall rating of the fabric doll Adele was “good”.

All price categories have defects

The current test shows that eleven out of 18 tested dolls are not safe for infants. These dolls were not rated “marketable” by Öko-Test. The problem is already known: As early as 2014, seven dolls were rated “poor” or worse by Öko-Test. In most cases this is due to poor workmanship of the toy or dangerous accessories. These two reasons mean that, in the opinion of the laboratory commissioned by Öko-Test, the dolls do not comply with the guidelines of the European toy standard EN 71.

Four laboratories were recently commissioned by the consumer magazine to detect hidden harmful substances. In the eco-test of the December 2018 issue, the three cheapest dolls and the three most expensive ones were rated “unsatisfactory”. As a rule, the higher priced rag dolls were less polluted. On average, more problematic substances were found in the plastic dolls.

On average, rag dolls perform better than plastic dolls in terms of ingredients. Öko-Test explains the result: “We criticize typical textile pollutants such as antimony from polyester production or organohalogen compounds from the dyeing process. Because the plastic dolls also have textile components and wear clothing, these pollutants are also found in them. On top of that, there are the classic plastic problem substances.”

Chlorinated compounds and substitute plasticizers have been found in all plastic dolls. The laboratory even found the substance bisphenol A in a doll. This is a substance classified as particularly alarming and, according to Öko-Test, has lost absolutely nothing in a toy.

Twelve dolls fall through the Öko-Test

In most cases, the dolls failed at the game simulation of children, in the form of drag and tear. Too often buttons, glued eyelashes or Velcro fasteners were loosened from the tested products. These accessories can be swallowed by toddlers and even cause choking hazards for toddlers. Accordingly, long and wide loops and ribbons are not permitted according to the standard, as there would be a danger of strangulation.

Öko-Test editor Jörg Döbereiner sums up: “Too many manufacturers do not comply with the safety requirements of the standard. This is unacceptable, but unfortunately not uncommon in the toy industry.”


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Link: The current evaluation table of rag dolls and plastic dolls in Öko-Test 2018

Image: SolStock / istock